On March 13, 1964, an event took place in New York City that had a transformative effect on the lives of many Americans, especially women. In Kew Gardens, Queens, a young woman named Catherine “Kitty” Genovese was brutally murdered. Hundreds of murders took place in New York City every year, of course, but this one was like no other. 38 neighbors had ignored Genovese’s screams for help as she was stabbed to death, it was reported, this the part of the story that made this particular murder stand out. As news about the circumstances surrounding the murder spread, the horrific crime quickly took a back seat to what New Yorkers and all Americans believed to be an even bigger, sadder tragedy. The event became seen as a disturbing sign of the times, a prime example of how the city and the nation were changing in the mid-1960s, and not for the better. New Yorkers, and those living in other big cities, were “apathetic,” many Americans concluded, unwilling to help neighbors or strangers in need. All kinds of experts offered theories on why what had taken place did, with none of these theories really answering the fundamental question. Over the decades, the case took on a larger and more significant role to the point where it came to represent one of the less appealing aspects of basic human behavior. To this day, the event is often cited as an essential principle of group psychology (the “Genovese syndrome”), and an unfortunate consequence of modern urban life.